The most important part of any wedding is, undoubtedly, the exchange of rings. As the bride and groom utter “with this ring” and slip the band on each other’s finger, it marks the beginning of their everlasting union and commitment, symbolised in the unending circle of the ring. With such significance given to a tiny band, it makes sense for couples to personalise their wedding rings – be it through the design, engravings or, as is offered by Larsen Jewellery in Sydney, by picking up a hammer and anvil and making the rings yourself.
Situated on the uppermost level of The Strand Arcade, the Larsen Jewellery workshop invites couples to design and handcraft their own wedding bands. The hands-on experience has been running for five years and gives couples creative license with their symbolic keepsakes.
“The experience lets couples make their rings from scratch,” says owner Lars Larsen.
“Using old-fashioned handcrafting techniques, couples design and shape their rings. The end result is identical to professionally made wedding bands.”
While studying to become a jeweller may take years of training, Larsen Jewellery has condensed the ring-making experience into just four hours, which can be completed in just one sitting. It starts with a consultation with one of the jewellers, who helps the bride and groom come up with a design using any metal – gold, white gold, rose gold, platinum or sterling silver – and then moves to the elbow grease of hand crafting, where couples sit around modern workbenches to transform their metal block.
The process begins with a rolling mill, like a pasta maker, which squashes the metal into shape. Milling is followed by bouts of soldering, filing and hammering the metal to the required size and style, finished off with polishing to perfection.
“One of the hurdles we face is that people are worried it won’t be perfect, “says Lars. “But we can guarantee no matter the design – it will be.”
This guarantee comes in the form of an expert jeweller guiding the couples throughout the day. Once the bands are made, there are further customisation options available. Wedding bands can be fitted to the engagement ring, diamonds and gems can be included to complete the look, and personal engravings into the ring are all possible.
The entire experience is filled with romance, and not only because couples are responsible for making each other’s ring (an extremely poignant yet competitive affair, according to staff). The romantic ambience is further amplified with a catered lunch for two and the ceremonial champagne popping at the completion of the process. And the fruits of the labour are, according to Lars, very much worth the journey.
“It’s a lovely, romantic and fun experience for every couple,” says Lars. ”And it makes the symbolic wedding rings extra sentimental.”
Five more ways to personalise a wedding band:
1. Set the band with each other’s birth stone
2. Engrave a personal message or favourite quote
3. Melt down heirloom jewellery into a new band
4. Engrave each other’s fingerprint detail onto the inside or outside of the band
5. Use the Mokume-Gane technique, where both rings are made from the same metals and create inimitable pattern.